I can't give you an verbatim quote because I don't own the film, but when I watched Captain America: Civil War I am fairly sure I heard Tony Stark being referred to as an "enhanced individual", at least in that he was part of a group of people who were collectively referred to as such.

Stark is one of the coolest Marvel characters, but from what I can tell his only actual superpower is that he's very wealthy (?).

I am aware that he has an artificial or artificially powered heart, which was replaced by a new organic heart or more traditional artificial heart in some of the comics. However I'm unaware of any superpowers that gives him.

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    His other superpower is that he’s super-smart, but yes.
    – Adamant
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 1:20
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    The laws don’t govern enhanced individuals, they govern superheroes (loosely speaking). While wearing the suit and saving the day, Tony is a superhero. The difference between him and someone who really has metal skin is only relevant in that he could be deprived of his ability to be heroic more easily. I mean, I suppose some people might consider Tony enhanced for the purposes of the law…they do call the Avengers “a group of enhanced individuals,” but they might just be using the term carelessly. In any case, while wearing the suit, Tony is enhanced in a sense.
    – Adamant
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 1:24
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    No need to delete it at all. He’s at least implicitly referred as “enhanced” in several places.
    – Adamant
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 1:30
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    Based on his depiction in the first Iron Man movie, he does seem to possess superhuman intellect and technical skills. He alone was able to make the ARC reactor a practical device. Not only that, but he built a miniature version of it from salvaged munitions with improvised tools while imprisoned in a cave. Oh, and in the process he also built his pre-prototype iron man suit.
    – Anthony X
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 2:15
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    @AnthonyX That's true. But Hawking developed the mathmatical proof for black holes, proved Einstein's theory of general relativity, co-discovered the four laws of black hole mechanics, discovered and described the laws of singularities, discovered Hawking radiation, advanced cosmic inflation theory, made the biggest contributions to the understanding of the beginning of the universe, and did all this and more with a horrendous disease which should've killed him long ago. And he's just plain ole human.
    – Hack-R
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 2:31

3 Answers 3


I don't think they ever use the term "metahuman" anywhere in the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- that's a DC term. In the MCU, they have used the term enhanced" people, to describe superheros like the Avengers. For example, that is the term used in the Sokovia Accords, which Iron Man (but, possibly, not Tony Stark) falls under.

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In this case, Tony would be considered "enhanced" only in the sense that he can pilot a special enhancement suit; James Rhodes and Sam Wilson (Falcon) are in the same category. As far as Tony's suits go, we've been told that they are keyed to him, specifically so the government can't steal them, so in his case it makes sense to consider him enhanced. It's not as clear how, for example, the Iron Patriot suit vs. James Rhodes as a person are listed under the Accords.

Note that Tony Stark, without the suit, is still a member of the Avengers; this means he falls under the Accords as long as he wants to continue in that role, because they also govern the Avengers behavior as a group. That's independent of him being "enhanced", though.

In addition to that, "being wealthy" isn't Tony's "superpower"; they don't play this up quite as much in the movies, but the idea is that Tony is a genius. He's generally considered the greatest engineer in the Marvel universe, ranked up with people like Reed Richards (not in the MCU, obviously), Hank Pym, and Bruce Banner as one of the smartest human beings alive. His wealth is a consequence of his genius.

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    Thanks Mike. I will upvote and accept. I changed Meta-human to Enhanced Individual like 20 - 30 min ago when Adament set me straight.
    – Hack-R
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 1:48
  • As a point of interest, in the Newuniversal series by Marvel; written by Warren Ellis. Tony Stark becomes an enhanced individual by the Fireworks, a cosmic event, he becomes a technological genius. Stark's plane is shot down in Viet Nam and he escapes imprisonment by constructing the Iron Man suit. When he returns to the US,the NSA's Project Spitfire executes him, as part of their mission to get rid of superhumans.
    – KenM
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 3:52
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    His wealth is only partly because of his genius. It’s also mostly inherited from his father’s (Howard’s) empire. Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 13:31
  • @KenM If we're going to mention the comics, then in The Secret Origin of Tony Stark it's revealed that he literally is an enhanced individual.
    – Raj
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 15:59

Well, the average human doesn't have an arc reactor in their chest.

I would think the reactor alone would qulify him as an enhanced individual, whether it provides him with "super-powers" or not.

While we may not be clear on the effect it has, it would seem likely that some things that might out an ordinary human wouldn't take out someone whose heart is replaced with or partially powered by such a device.

In the comics, there's at least one story where Tony Stark was not affected by a poison, because that poison affects the heart, and his was artificial.

I was also under the impression that the arc reactor played some part in powering the Iron Man armors (although, of course, James Rhodes does not have an arc reactor in his chest, and can still pilot the War Machine/Iron Patriot suit).


Tony Stark doesn't have superpowers, but his suit does. For starters it can fly (really fast) & it can lift 100 tons easily which is exactly how much Hulk can lift who's by far the strongest Avenger in terms of pure strength. According to the power rankings of movie's characters on Marvel’s official website, Iron Man is the highest rated Avenger.

Power rankings of all major characters as stated on the website are as follows -

Iron Man - 33/42

Thor - 32/42

Hulk - 32/42

Captain Marvel - 29/42

Doctor Strange - 25/42

Black Panther - 21/42

Captain America - 19/42

Spiderman - 18/42

Scarlet Witch - 18/42

Ant Man - 15/42

Hawkeye - 13/42

They're not dumb enough to exclude Iron Man who's powers levels rivals gods (Thor). Also under the regulations of Sokovia Accords, it is clearly stated -

"For the purposes of the Accords, an "enhanced individual" is defined as any person, human or otherwise, with superhuman capabilities. This includes individuals whose powers are an innate function of their biology as well as individuals who utilize highly advanced technology to grant themselves superhuman capabilities"

So I'm pretty sure, Tony Stark falls under "individuals who utilize highly advanced technology to grant themselves superhuman capabilities".

  • 1
    I find it hard to believe that Scarlet Witch is lower than Captain America and Black Panther.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented May 18, 2019 at 19:32
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    This is great info but could you please link to it? I can't find on the site where you got this, starting from the link in your answer.
    – Hack-R
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 1:52

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